There I was, in an unfamiliar office, sitting in a circle of people I’d never met before—but it was my office and my team. They say buying a company is like jumping on a moving train. Sitting in that first meeting, I got the sense the passengers were surprised where the train had taken them and unsure if they should trust the new conductor. After all, I was a woman in my mid-thirties with no experience in flooring, and my predecessor was a man in his sixties with 40 years in the industry.
I was nervous but excited. I knew it was a good business, and I was determined I could improve upon it with the right tools and the right team. I looked at it like a case study from graduate school: analyze what’s working and change what’s not. And change we did. We added more structure, more technology, more people, and more meetings. Early on, we established our core values, organizational chart, and short-term and long-term goals. We created process maps and checklists and scorecards. We rolled out two important technology solutions. It felt invigorating. We stayed on track by having regular strategy meetings for the company leadership where we discussed our quarterly goals and established who was responsible for what. We also created a list of issues each meeting, and tackled one by one. We had some simple, good processes, and they seemed to work.